She co-created a food manufacturing business during the pandemic and champions the conservation work of the Edmonton Valley Zoo
Job Title: Co-founder, Director, Chief Development Officer, Homestyle Selections
You may not have heard of Leigh Newton’s company, Homestyle Selections LP, but you’ve probably eaten its products.
The sauces at Edo Japan, Opa! Souvlaki of Greece and Boston Pizza, the filling mixtures of several Tim Hortons wraps, and Ziggy’s brand potato salad at Loblaws are all made by the food manufacturing company.
“We’re actually quite prevalent,” says the lifelong Edmontonian. “The thing about our food is that it’s primarily private-label production, so we make it for a business and then they sell it with their brand name.”
Newton co-founded the company with Frank Burdzy, with whom she’d worked at Champion Petfoods, from 2015 to 2019. They’d noticed growing consumer demand for pre-prepared meals and hoped to capitalize on the market trend. “We said, ‘Let’s make sure food is convenient, but also fresh and better for you,’” she says.
Busy as she is, Newton serves as vice-president of the Valley Zoo Development Society, which develops strategies around education, conservation, and awareness. Many Edmontonians are unaware of the zoo’s involvement in wildlife conservation and species survival programs: “One of the things we’re really trying to do is get that awareness out beyond just parents bringing kids to the zoo.”